New fountains at Centennial Park honor a canine friend [Ellicott City]

Howard County Times

Centennial Park has a new water feature - Phoenix’s fountain. Located next to the adventure shack and boat dock, the new water station features a regular size and ADA height water fountains, bottle filler and an attached water bowl for pets.

Centennial resident Lisa O’Brien donated the money to replace the park’s old water fountain in memory of her beloved family pet Phoenix, a recuse dog who passed away at 13-years-old in February 2017.

A plague on the blue fountain bears Phoenix’s name with the caption “He loved walks around the lake.”

O’Brien told me that she and her neighbor, Vanessa Aburn, “jogged around the (Centennial) lake each morning with our dogs for about 12 years - until Phoenix could no longer walk that far.”

Since “there was no dog fountain at the lake,” she would carry “a plastic bowl to fill up during the warm weather.” During a trip to San Antonio, O’Brien saw a dog fountain on the Riverwalk and “thought it would be great to have one at Centennial lake and dedicate it to Phoenix.”

Phoenix’s fountain was the first fountain installed as part of Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks water fountain donation program, an initiative to replace old water fountains at county parks through community donations.

DRP’s goal is to replace the county’s existing 49 free-standing water park fountains and 16 fountains attached to park buildings.

In addition to providing park patrons and their canine friends with fresh water during exercise or recreational activities, the bottle filler feature provides an environmental benefit - reducing the need for plastic water bottles.

According to a DRP press release, “The United States recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which equates to an estimated 38 billion bottles ending up in landfills each year.”

The addition of bottle fillers to water fountains in our parks is in line with the department’s sustainability vision,” said Parks Bureau Chief John Marshall in the same press release. “By allowing the community to take part in this donation initiative they become part of the solution to keep patrons hydrated and reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the landfill.”

Anna Hunter, DRP’s superintendent of Public Information and Marketing, informed me the cost of a free-standing, upright fountain is $3,810 and a fountain attached to a building is $3,625.

Donors can select the park location for the replacement fountain. They have the option of attaching a 5 x 7 personalized plaque to the fountain to honor organizations or individuals with their choice of wording. Plagues may contain company or organization logos. Donations may be tax deductible.

For more information, go to

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan and the First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted their first Iftar reception at the Governor’s House in Annapolis.

The United Maryland Muslim Council President Rizwan Siddiqi was among the invited guests which included over 200 Muslims and community leaders.

The Ellicott City resident gave the welcome remarks during the program where, according to a UMMC press release, he “noted that the fasting is not only to forgo food and drinks but it provides nourishment for our souls and the month of Ramadan gives an opportunity to meet and break fast and pray together.”

Later, the governor, in his remarks, spoke about his appreciation to the United Maryland Muslim Council in coordinating the Ramadan reception program. He also noted the contribution of Muslims to Maryland’s economy and service to the community, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

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